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Improving the genetic quality of seeds in Somalia

Improving the genetic quality of seeds in Somalia

Full title of the project:

Improving the genetic quality of seeds in Somalia

Target areas:

Hirshabelle, Jubaland and South West states and Somaliland.

Recipient:
Contribution:
USD 3 142 936
18/12/2015-17/11/2019
Project code:
OSRO/SOM/516/EC
Objective:

To sustainably increase food production of targeted households and communities and enable them to restore/maintain their productive capacity when faced with chronic pressure or shocks.

Key partners:

Ministry of Agricultural Development (Somaliland), Ministry of Agriculture (Jubaland State) and Ministries of Agriculture and Irrigation (Federal Government of Somalia, South West State and Hirshabelle State).

Beneficiaries reached:

945 seed industry stakeholders (600 lead farmers, 290 seed growers and 55 agro-dealers) and 36 ministry staff.

Activities implemented:
  • Trained 290 seed growers, 55 agro-dealers and 600 lead farmers on basic seed production, processing, bulking and storage.
  • Trained 36 ministry staff on seed production, covering plant breeding, seed biology, plant germplasm collection, crop variety testing, characterization, genetic cleaning, certification, policy and regulations.
  • Carried out international study tours to Kenya for 27 ministry staff to visit and learn from established seed companies, seed research stations and the regulatory body in Kenya.
  • Conducted a farmer field day session with participation from 200 seed stakeholders to share knowledge.
  • Identified and classified 40 landraces of cowpea, maize, rice and sorghum to support local seed production.
  • Carried out seed genetic finger printing and gene banking for over 40 seed landraces.
  • Provided ministries with seed production and sampling tools, six computers and two pick-up trucks.
  • Established a seed research laboratory and training centre with a seed store and offices in Dollow, Jubaland.
  • Rehabilitated a seed research laboratory and training centre and established a water reservoir for irrigation in Somaliland.
  • Established five field plots with fencing where cowpea, maize, rice and sorghum seed performance tests were conducted and where seed landraces can be bulked and genetically purified.
  • Established five seed storage facilities that ensure seeds are maintained under optimal conditions to avoid damage and loss.
  • Collected and mapped 1 tonne of seed from 37 different crop varieties of cowpea, maize, rice and sorghum from Somali farming systems.
  • Established eight seed-grower cooperatives, who were then trained by ministry staff on commercial seed production and processing as well marketing.
Impact:
  • Strengthened local seed production systems, improving production, processing, testing and storage infrastructure.
  • Ensured Somali landrace cereal crop genetic resources are conserved, and local varieties are re-introduced into seed and farming systems.
  • Enabled ministries to digitize and maintain seed collection data, including genetic and mapping data to support the conservation and use of landraces.
  • Improved capacity and infrastructure to test, bulk, purify and certify seed.
  • Built seed growers capacity to produce local maize, rice, cowpea and sorghum seed and improved their access to the market, increasing the availability of locally adapted certified seed and reducing reliance on imports.
  • Developed the local seed industry, thanks to linkages created between seed stakeholders.
  • Enabled agro-dealers to supply quality, locally adapted agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers.
  • Enhanced ministry staff skills and knowledge on modern seed production methods, enabling them to share knowledge with and supervise seed growers.
  • Enabled growers to produce 116.44 tonnes of seed.